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© 2012-2019 Linda Mabry Lewis DBA Mountain Oils & Healing
It just kind of happened.
People who have known me for a long time know that I've searched many avenues for a satisfying spirituality. Over the years I've practiced Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism, the Baha'i faith, and Wicca and my own individual paganism.
I left the "organized" religions because they all taught things I didn't agree with. Paganism had seemed to be the answer to that, because you pretty much make it up as you go along - "An' it harm none, do as you will" and all that. (Actually, a harder and much more complicated way to live than you might think - imagine a life where you harm no one, including yourself!)
I drifted away from paganism because of the politics that seemed to infiltrate every corner. "Paganer than thou" is more than a joke, unfortunately. But by myself (or, "solitary", a respected pagan tradition), I just didn't do anything. I needed some outside spiritual influence to keep me in touch with the more-than-physical.
My daughter, Summer, had been Christian for many years. I knew it would please her for me to go to church with her, so I was looking for a way to make the things the preacher would say fit in with my own world view - without making me climb the walls. (Or bring down any stray lightning strikes!)
So I read a book called The Case For Christ, by Lee Strobel. It wasn't supposed to convert me, just give me some solid stuff so I could relate to Christianity in a way that connected me with my version of God.
Instead, I became convinced that the New Testament is actual, literal truth. If the New Testament is actual, literal truth, then what it says happened really happened. If what it says happened really happened, then Jesus of Nazareth did the things it says He did. If He did the things it says He did, then He was who He said He was, and the things He said are true.
I didn't want to believe it, but I did, and do.
Once I got over feeling rebellious and being upset about being "wrong", I realized I had a choice to make, and that really I could only choose one way. And once I accepted Christ as my Savior, I felt a peace I really had never known before. It wasn't a high, or an excited euphoria, just a grounded peace, like a relaxed sigh.
I don't know everything. I don't have all the answers. I'm learning, day by day. I still run across things that seem weird and turn out to be verifiable truth, and other things that seem reasonable and aren't. It's a little scary sometimes, because the things I counted on as "true" for most of my life are changing all the time. It's unsettling, to say the least.
I'm a little nervous about sharing this - I'm worried that new friends will think I'm weird because I used to be a pagan, and old friends will think I'm weird because I'm not a pagan any more. But in the long run, what people - even friends and family - think of me isn't really important. That's something that will pass away. My relationship with my God will not pass away - it's eternal. My integrity - my wholeness within myself - demands honesty. And if just one person reading this decides to check Jesus out for herself or himself, then any weirdness resulting is a small price to pay.
So there you have it, the story of how I became a Christian.
The Case For Christ is available all over the place. You can visit Lee Strobel's website for information on books and for short online videos of him answering questions. I can't say I agree with him on everything he says, but the most important part is that Christ died to pay the price for our sins. That is what matters.